Lead generation is arguably the most important facet in the real estate industry. An agent’s ability to convert prospects into clients and generate new leads could be the difference between a top-tier business and a struggling one. A solid lead generation program can help you increase your marketing power and start converting those potential clients into your own happy customers.
In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, “The Rich and The Rest…The Distinctions of High Performance Selling,” Tom Ferry shared some of his most effective lead generation techniques. Ferry lists some “tried and true” non-online lead methods that can separate the rich from the rest. Those struggling in the field tend to use one to three lead generation methods, while those doing alright have four to six systems in place to create new lead opportunities. However, the rich agents will have at least ten lead generation systems in place.
Here are three strong lead generation strategies that Ferry discussed in his webinar.
1. Geographic farming
How do you dominate your market? Geographic farming involves focusing on one market in which you solicit the majority of the business. In doing so, you establish brand identity in this particular area and develop relationships with those living in the community. Before you begin “farming” a particular market, it’s important to strategize to be sure you’re selecting the right location. Map your previous sold properties so you have an idea of where you’ve worked before. Knowing people in the community where one would want to sell can be used as leverage by giving you an “in” with the rest of the members of the neighborhood. If they know you’ve already successfully sold a property in their area, they’ll have more confidence in you. In addition to this, Ferry reminds agents not to “fish where there are no fish.” Select a territory where the annual turnover is more than 6 percent.
Once you’ve selected your area and are ready to begin farming, consider how many homes can you effectively manage in regards to both sweat and check equity. Do you have enough time to visit with potential clients or market listings effectively? Once you’ve found your ideal number, begin thinking about your marketing strategy. Consistent marketing is key. Be present in the community and make a commitment to it. Brand yourself in your farm so the residents of the area recognize you as the local expert. Finally, it’s important keep up with industry trends. Research and learn about new marketing techniques to help you distinguish yourself from your competition.
2. Mega open houses
Instead of just hosting an open house, consider what Ferry calls a “mega open house.” Rather than immediately posting your new listing in the MLS, wait a few extra days. In that time, invite the neighbors for a private event to preview the home before opening it to the general public. In doing so, you will be able to establish a relationship with other homeowners in the neighborhood.
If you have difficulty prospecting, hosting a mega open house creates a situation where people can come to you for information. Ferry notes that, while attending this mega open house, neighbors will be curious to find out how much their own home is worth. Create cards with messages like “how much is your home worth” or “knowledge is power” and distribute them to guests to direct the communication toward selling opportunities. When a home sells in a neighborhood, generally, one or two more properties are listed in the same area. Hosting a mega open house is an ideal way to move this process while branding yourself as the local, go-to expert. Think of it as bringing in potential sellers in a more proactive way.
3. Direct mail
According to Ferry, direct mail is on the rise because of the industry’s dependence on technology. He states that agents should expect to receive a 3-5 percent response rate. People are more likely to notice a well-tailored direct mail piece than a standard email. As a part of this, Ferry suggests tailoring your marketing pieces so they interest your client. Good marketing speaks directly to what’s on the mind of the consumer. As Ferry says, the best way to catch your prospect’s attention is by responding to what consumers want to know. The key thing they are interested in is determining the value of their home.
Direct mailing is also a way to brand yourself, making you more real. Create pieces that display your recent sales activity to show potential clients that you’re the local expert in their area. By including a professional, smiling image of yourself in your marketing materials, you can present yourself not only as the local expert, but also as a likable person. At the end of the day, a customer chooses you because you’re likable. In the webinar, Ferry offers additional ideas of the types of advertising and branding pieces an agent can create to effectively market themselves.
Ferry notes that the most important thing agents can do to generate more leads is to know their customer so well that the product sells itself. A strong lead generation strategy isn’t a quick project; it’s a long game that involves time and diligence. When it comes to the rich and the rest, Ferry states, “Both hate to do what it takes to be successful. The rich do it anyway.”
For the full list of Ferry’s tried and true lead generation strategies, watch “The Rich and The Rest…The Distinctions of High Performance Selling.” Find more free real estate educational videos, including best practices, by visiting Secrets of Top Selling Agents. Be sure to sign up for the upcoming webinar, “Never Lose a Listing Again!” featuring Garry Wise and Chris Scott, on Wednesday, June 24th 1 p.m ET.